Neil McGuigan has a philosophy: if a winemaker and the team supporting him aspire to make a super-premium wine that people will readily pay $150 a bottle for, then the culture they develop in creating that wine will see them lift the bar in everything else they do in the winery.
“So in our case it’s also resulted in a McGuigan $10 wine now feeling to consumers like a $12 wine because of the extra effort that’s gone into it, a $20 like a $25 and so on,” says Neil, who has gone further than just having a philosophy, he’s created a label he calls The Philosophy, which has devotees happy to pay its $150 price.
Neil says he’s put ten years of effort into the label, with his whole team throwing themselves into its success with the same “vision, passion, strength and drive” as his own. “Not only did we develop a super-premium, exceptional red, along the way we’ve created new tiers of wines within the McGuigan portfolio, and raised some existing labels to a point of over-delivering at their price level.”
The 2010 McGuigan The Philosophy Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz is made from small parcels of fruit from the Eden Valley and Clare District of South Australia. With intense flavours of raspberries, mulberries and plum, and with a lovely softness on the palate, it makes an exceptional partner for special-occasion dining paired with rare-roasted aged fillet of beef or a good oven-baked leg of lamb.
One to note: Katnook Estate enjoyed excellent-condition fruit from an early 2014 harvest in Coonawarra that was dry and mild, and in the case of the company’s Sauvignon Blanc resulted in especially vibrant varietal fruit character.
While labelled Sauvignon Blanc this one’s got a 7% Semillon component in it that gives a palate of delicately balanced tropical lychee fruit flavour, and herbaceous, mineral and flinty tones and a rewardingly zesty finish. Pay $25 and enjoy this as a dinner starter with natural oysters squeezed with fresh lemon, and followed we’d suggest, with a Spanish seafood paella.